CHICAGO – Sen. Mark Kirk is not attending the Republican National Convention as he recovers from his January stroke, but he sent a video message Tuesday to his colleagues in the Illinois delegation.
Kirk said he wished he could be there and called the November elections one of the most important ever.
“This is an exciting moment for which you’re going as an Illinois Republican to participate in history,” Kirk said. “This has got to be one of the most important elections we’ve ever had.”
Members of the Illinois delegation stood up and applauded after viewing the message during a breakfast before the first official day of the convention.
Kirk has made considerable progress in his recovery after suffering a stroke in January.
During his grueling rehabilitation, Kirk still met frequently with staff members.
Kirk said in his message that the United States needs Mitt Romney and the fiscal conservatism espoused by Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan.
“I want to also remember our congressional candidates, a team that ... has switched the Illinois delegation from being majority Democrat to a majority Republican,” Kirk said.
After extensive rehabilitation as an in-patient at a center in Chicago, Kirk has continued his program from his home north of the city since May. So far, there is no public word on when he might be able to return to Washington. Kirk does not face re-election until 2016.